Why Is Port 22 Unreachable Mac Terminal


Recently, I encountered a frustrating issue with my Mac terminal – port 22 was unreachable. As someone who relies heavily on using the terminal for various tasks, this problem posed a significant inconvenience. In this article, I will delve into the reasons behind this issue and provide a step-by-step guide to troubleshoot and resolve it.

The Basics of Port 22

Port 22 is the default port used by Secure Shell (SSH), a network protocol that allows secure remote login and file transfer over an unsecured network. It is widely used for accessing remote servers and machines, making it an integral part of a developer or sysadmin’s toolkit.

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter – why was port 22 suddenly unreachable on my Mac terminal?

Possible Causes

There can be several reasons why port 22 becomes unreachable on a Mac terminal. It’s crucial to understand these causes to effectively troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Firewall Settings: One common culprit is the firewall settings on your Mac. A misconfigured or overly restrictive firewall can block incoming or outgoing connections on port 22. It’s worth checking your firewall settings to ensure SSH traffic is allowed.
  2. SSH Service Not Running: Another possibility is that the SSH service itself is not running on your Mac. The SSH service needs to be active for port 22 to be reachable. You can verify if the SSH service is running by checking the system’s process list.
  3. Network Configuration: Issues with your network configuration can also cause port 22 to become unreachable. This can include problems with routers, switches, or even the network interface on your Mac. Ensuring that your network configuration is correct and functional is crucial.
  4. ISP Restrictions: In some cases, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might be blocking port 22. ISPs often implement restrictions on certain ports to enhance security. Contacting your ISP and checking if they are blocking port 22 can help resolve this issue.

Troubleshooting and Resolving the Issue

Now that we have explored the possible causes, let’s dive into the troubleshooting and resolution process:

  1. Check Firewall Settings: Start by reviewing your firewall settings. Make sure that SSH traffic is allowed both inbound and outbound. If necessary, create a rule to explicitly allow port 22.
  2. Verify SSH Service Status: Check if the SSH service is running on your Mac. Open the terminal and run the command sudo systemsetup -getremotelogin. If it returns ‘Remote Login: On‘, the SSH service is running. Otherwise, enable it by running sudo systemsetup -setremotelogin on.
  3. Inspect Network Configuration: Examine your network configuration for any issues. Ensure that your Mac has a valid IP address and is connected to the network properly. Restarting your router or modem might also help resolve any network-related issues.
  4. Contact ISP: If none of the above steps yield positive results, reach out to your ISP and inquire about any restrictions they might have in place for port 22. They may be able to assist you in resolving the issue or provide alternative solutions.


Dealing with an unreachable port 22 on your Mac terminal can be frustrating, especially when you heavily rely on SSH for remote access and file transfers. However, armed with the troubleshooting steps provided in this article, you can now effectively diagnose and resolve the issue.

Remember to double-check your firewall settings, ensure the SSH service is running, examine your network configuration, and contact your ISP if necessary. By diligently working through these steps, you’ll soon regain access to port 22 and continue seamlessly using your Mac terminal for all your SSH needs.